As landlords, we have a set of house rules that go with our rental properties. They are an addendum to our lease and we sit with every new and approved applicant and read them word for word.
I like to keep the rules separate from the lease. It just seems a bit easier to administer that way. But there is no reason the rules could not be an actual part of your lease. Either way, if you do not have a set of house rules for your rental properties, you should develop some today.
Download Your FREE Tenant Screening Guide!
Hey there! Screening tenants can be a tricky business, and this critical step can be the difference between profits and disaster. To help you with your real estate investing journey, feel free to download BiggerPockets’ complimentary Tenant Screening Guide and get the information you need to find great tenants.
What are Your House Rules?
Some of our rules are pretty standard stuff. No loud music. Keep your place clean and free of garbage. No candles or waterbeds. No grilling within 10 feet of the building along with several other standard rules.
It seems, however, that every year we have to add more rules because tenants just keep coming up with “interesting” ways to live their lives. Some things are truly unique. Other things which I thought were common sense actually have to be spelled out.
- Lock your doors.
- If you are burglarized, call the police first.
- No inside furniture outside.
- I do not negotiate between tenants. I am not your mom.
- You are an adult, act like one and treat other tenants as you would like to be treated.
- Do not disconnect or disable the smoke detector.
- Don’t flush objects down the toilet.
- Don’t pour grease down the drain.
- No couch surfing. (look up couchsurfing.com)
- Don’t attach satellite dishes to my buildings.
- Bad things will happen to you, your rent will still be due on the 1st of every month.
- Pay your rent first, then pay your other bills.
As I said, we read our house rules to our new tenants word for word. Almost every time they snicker and say “Did someone really do that?” Yes, someone really did that. That is why that is in the rules. And every year, one of our tenants will do something that will make us add another rule to the list.
I wonder what it will be this year?
So what have your tenants done? What have you had to add to your house rules? Please share with your comments.